How can your film project stand out?
As aspiring African filmmakers, directors and producers, it is necessary to develop and create projects that are of high artistic and commercial value. For quite some time now, the term ‘local content’ has often been associated with less than world-class quality projects.
However, as with television and film content from around the world, African content holds great promise as a viable job creator and economic wealth generator. The following tips will guide you on how to make your film stand out, and can add production value when developing your next video project.
1.DEFINE YOUR GENRE
Love story? Action? Comedy? Historical? By clearly defining your genre, it will make it easier to identify your target audience, as well as define and categorize your project to potential distributors and exhibition outlets. It also makes it easier to write and craft your characters based on conventions used by similar genre projects. Experimental blending of genres may work in unique cases, but do consult widely.
2. DEVELOP REALISTIC CHARACTERS
As obvious as it may sound, memorable characters drive plots and stand out in the eyes of the audience. Remember, a character’s situation (both physical and mental), relationships with other characters, and their temperament in dealing with situations, all add to creating multi-dimensional characters.
Do not be afraid to re-write and re-work your first draft. Feedback will help you create interesting characters and dialogue. More importantly, because this is a cinematic project, you need to project realism with your choices of performers. If your character is 50 years old, audition and cast accordingly.
3. DETAILED PRE-PRODUCTION IS CRUCIAL
Most individuals overlook the importance of pre-production as a crucial step towards a successful project. Beyond the obvious scripting, casting, and location scouting, take time to make sure every second of screen time is accounted for before you begin production.
Develop storyboards, shot lists, and develop a detailed visual look through production and lighting design. This will assist you in identifying potential structural issues with your project and efficiently allocate resources towards screen time.
4. DEVELOP A SOLID POST-PRODUCTION AND SOUND DESIGN PLAN
Editing, colour grading, sound, and music score development often add immense production value to your production. An engaging opening montage or trailer and graphics will help you hook potential audiences.
Most broadcasters, film festivals, and distributors require professionally mixed sound and dialogue tracks. Also, if you are incorporating music, ensure that you have permission to use the pieces you choose. Early in the pre-production process, seek out the advice of a competent sound designer.
5. DEVELOP YOUR TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES
Nothing screams amateur than below-average technical capabilities. Audiences are extremely sophisticated and are used to projects of a very high technical standard. Your next project shouldn’t be an exception.
Soft focus, bad exposure, poor sound, and weak scripting all take away from your story and distract your audience. Take time to master your technical equipment and/or find professional collaborators.
Thinking of joining the film industry? ADMI is the premier film school in the region click below to learn more.
If your movie is already finished and now you’d like to sell it, check out our article Where Can I Sell My Film?